Beyond Cute Beagles

It’s almost time to say goodbye.  We’ve spent the last six weeks raising our first batch of purebred Beagles.  They are BEYOND cute!  The kids have become attached to the little thundering horde of floppy ears that rushes us every time we go to the door.  I hope they all find good homes.   Tons of pictures at my Beagle blog (or dogblog as dh calls it) 

Or you can see them in action:

The yard will be a sadder place when they’re gone, but I expect five other homes will produce more smiles than usual.


What we’ve been doing…

For the past 6 weeks, our robotics project (we’re the Maniacs Attempting Robot Science, competing in BEST Robotics, Inc has consumed our lives.

I think this trailer says it all. 🙂

Connecting with kids

But (shhhhh) the biggest advantage of this experiment so far? I feel connected with my son.

I lifted that line from Rick Riordan’s blog (  He’s “experimenting” with homeschooling this year to educate his oldest son.  This line speaks to me.  Connecting with my kids was NOT a fundamental reason I began homeschooling.  I had more noble, more ambitious, more idealistic, less personal reasons, like giving them a more excellent academic opportunity and grounding their faith and knowledge in the Bible.

But over time, it has become more life altering and earth shattering for me.  I am connected to my kids.  What greater success in this life can I ever claim?

Back to the subject at hand…Rick Riordan joins the rank of homeschoolers

(I’m returning now to homeschooling topics, because political and economic topics make me so angry right now…grrrr.)

Author Rick Riordan officially joined the homeschooling community this year.  In case you live on a different planet than us (you know, the planet where we wait breathlessly for the next installment of the Percy Jackson  series to be released, where we devote our summers to re-creating Camp Halfblood as an authentic camp where kids hunt monsters, fight with swords, race chariots, and go on heroic quests, where we debate the personality quirks of Poseidon and Hades as though we knew them personally, THAT planet), Rick is a public school teacher who created a Greek mythology phenomenon.  His book series is a great adventure that just happens to be a great learning/teaching tool.  Can you tell that we’re fans?

His own son has struggled for years with learning disabilities.  Dealing with those struggles actually helped lead to Rick’s book series, and ADHD and dyslexia play an important role in the books.  The Riordans made the personal decision to school their son at home this year.  I love this quote, because it shows that they’re discovering one of the great benefits that draws in so many families:

“…there is no falling between the cracks. Haley is the only student, so he has to master the concepts or we don’t move on. He has to answer the questions, engage in discussion with me, use his best-handwriting, edit his paper . . . He can’t turn invisible, which is what he prefers to do in a regular classroom.”

They’ve also hit a few reality checks, like discovering how much hard work and time is involved. 

Welcome to your newest adventure, Riordans!  Like most heroic quests, the difficulties are proportional to the glory at the end. 🙂

I’m so mad about this bailout

Like most Americans, I’m furious at the amount of money the government is wasting right now and that I’m suffering from a poor economy because of other people’s mistakes.  Here’s something else to be upset about.  Democrats had a chance to help head this crisis off years ago.  Republicans (not that they’re entirely blameless here or anything) tried to regulate Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae years ago, but the Democrats denied the problem and said, “Everything’s fine.”

This isn’t hearsay.  We have them on video.  Dems like Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank who are howling so loudly now about how this is Bush’s fault…grrrr.